Office COVID Response
As COVID continues to sweep across the nation, we want to assure our patients of the cleanliness and safety for our office.
The Safety of Our Patients and Staff Is Our Highest Concern
While we’ve always kept our dental office clean and sanitized, we are taking extra precautions in light of the pandemic. We’ve introduced several new safety measures that aim to keep both you, our patients, and our staff protected from any potential biological threats.
The safety measures we now uphold are in response to COVID but also protect you against various other possible infections, such as the common cold or flu.
Our New Safety Measures
UV Office Disinfection
In conjunction with our regular, manual cleaning, we’ve introduced UVC light as an addition to our safety measures. UVC light is an effective way to kill microorganisms in an area, whether they are in the air or on surfaces. We use our traditional methods of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, but the addition of UVC light intensifies our approach to office disinfection.
UVC light works by disrupting the DNA structure of microorganisms, including viruses, and either directly kills them or renders them harmless. We use UVC light between every patient visit so our office is always disinfected and ready for use.
Ozone is a chemical compound that reliably sterilizes water, reducing the number of bacterial contaminants. We use ozone in our office water supply to provide clean, sterile water for use when performing any dental procedures.
Unlike many other dental offices, we have chosen to only use ozone in our water to eliminate organic and endotoxic contamination instead of adding in other chemicals some may deem as harmful.
New Patient Procedure
We have updated our procedure for seeing patients upon scheduled appointments which are a requirement. Any contact must be made over the phone or online as we cannot accept walk-in service of any kind.
Once you are ready for your appointment, please park in our parking lot and call the receptionist. Do not leave your car or walk up to the front door. The receptionist will sign you in.
We will come out and approach you at your vehicle when it is your turn. Due to our new cleaning measures, the time between patients is longer as we need to thoroughly disinfect the office.
Please note: do not remove your mask until we give you the okay. Anyone who arrives without a mask will be turned away and asked to reschedule.
What COVID Has Meant for the Dental Industry
All dental offices have been affected by the pandemic, and we hope we are not alone in taking extra precaution. Due to COVID, the quality of indoor air has been given the spotlight. For a profession that involves open mouths and ricocheting particles during any dental session, dental offices have gone under more scrutiny than ever before regarding safety.
Because of this, many dental offices have been forced to close and adhere to expensive, specific reopening procedures. COVID has affected many industries negatively, including dentistry.
Our office has adhered to these policies and welcomed new safety measures because of our passion for clean, healthy teeth. Don’t feed the virus with poor dental care. Keep up your routine and prevent any potential maladies by continuing to attend your regular dental appointments.
COVID-19 IN OFFICE INFECTION CONTROL
Infection control has never been more critical to the health of a dental office in keeping both patients and dental team members safe. The dental profession ranked as the #1 most unhealthy profession by a U.S. Department of Labor study due to exposure to disease contaminants, disease, infections, and radiation.
The dental professional is especially vulnerable to exposures to contaminants, disease and infections; most noticeably, fine and ultra-fine particulate matter. This matter includes harmful bio-aerosol particles that are capable of reaching the deepest part of human lungs; and absorbed into the blood stream with significant impact to overall health. The air quality of a dental office is not visible yet contains unhealthy and often infectious airborne particulate which results from practicing dentistry. Bio-aerosols from the use of ultrasonic instruments along with cleaning and disinfection of contact surfaces adds to increasing the unhealthiness of indoor air of dental offices.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought indoor air quality into the spotlight, as dental professionals have been extremely affected by closedown mandates and reopen procedures.
I – UV FOR THE OFFICE DISINFECTION
Studies have confirmed that UVC light is an effective addition to manual cleaning efforts and can kill harmful pathogens quickly and efficiently. Exposure to UVC light for a specific length of time and intensity kills dangerous microorganisms. The American Journal of Infection Control notes that combining UVC technology with manual cleaning is one of the most effective ways to significantly decrease the pool of harmful pathogens that cause infection.
UV unit delivers an ultra-fast and effective UVC dose for killing harmful pathogens without having to be moved or positioned with each use. The wall-mounted system or tabletop device enables rooms to be disinfected between patient cases in as little as 5 minutes.
UV light technology has been used in large health-care facilities with success, and as dentists search for ways to disinfect their offices during the pandemic, some are finding that UVc sanitizers are a good option.
What is UVc sterilization technology, and how can ultraviolet light kill germs? According to an article on the Verilux website, “UVC light sanitizer acts by penetrating the thin wall of a small microscopic organism and destroying its nucleic acids. This disrupts the DNA structure and either kills it or renders it unable to reproduce, and therefore harmless. As a result, the use of UVc light to sanitize and kill germs has many applications.”1. Broadly stated, the big benefit is that UVc has been shown in rigorous testing to kill bugs and viruses.
How can dentists know if their system is working correctly? Thin Air Energy created a device that measures the effectiveness of UVc sanitizers called the Geiger UVc. It shows field strength, and when significant dose levels are realized. If the user waves a UVc wand over Geiger, it will show the field strength via an LED array. It will then show when a particular dosing level has been realized by illuminating another LED. If the user waves a non-functional UVc wand over Geiger, it will immediately show that no UVc energy is being received.
Recently, an innovative way to eliminate airborne microbial populations was found through interfering with parts of microbial DNA.
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is a sterilization method commonly used in hospitals and medical settings to destroy airborne microorganisms. UVGI is most often utilized as a lamp in the operating room for air purification or a lighted box for toothbrush sterilization. This method of sterilization has increased due to its efficacy and ease of use—only lasting a 15-minute duration and typically costing two cents per cycle. Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation has been used for many sterilization efforts since the mid-20th century, but recently has been used for air sanitization as well as the sterilization of equipment, instruments, operating room2 and toothbrush disinfection.
II – OZONE FOR THE OFFICE DISINFECTION
Ozone generators: cause a chemical reaction with gaseous pollutants
Many cities in the U.S. and around the world use ozone to sterilize public water systems, and ozone is commonly used to sterilize fruits, vegetables, and bottled water and soft drinks.
Ozone has long been used as a water disinfectant due to its reliable oxidation quality with regard to chemical, organic and biological impurities. It is suitable for reducing bacterial contamination in dental water. As a result of its potency as an oxidizing agent ozone is a suitable candidate for the reduction of bacterial, endotoxic and organic contamination.
III – Hospital grade disinfectants to clean floor and surfaces b/w the patients
1) – Cavicide
2) – Lemoside